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Kevin McKay

Thoughts on this?

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http://georgesoutdoornews.bangordailynews.com/2017/07/14/fishing/shocking-decline-in-northern-maine-angling/

i have seen nothing but a increase in business, running 70 plus days guiding plus booking out to guides around the state and I don't find people want to kill fish, no one ever ask to to

I also was looking at the law book this spring and found it to be very easy to read. When I have have gone other place theirs seems hard to understand, so I just think it's what people are use to not thatbthe law book is hard to read.

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Some interesting observations made here that biologists could use for management strategies in the future.  If the fishing sucks then why bother going...  Perhaps this method of survey could be put to use in all waters that we invest in with stocking programs to see  how healthy or successful a management program is.  I met a biologist who told me that anecdotal data is key to decisions he makes on stocking numbers and policies.  He simply doesn't have the time to asses all the bodies of water he is in charge of, so those who frequently fish those waters he can't get to and provide information to him carries a lot of weight for his recommendations.  Angler numbers can give him great feed back of conditions in stocked water bodies and perhaps give the biologist another tool to use. 

As far as the law book goes, I think is good.   I would suggest have a fine print copy of the S-rules at the top of every page in the upper margin so that one doesn't have to keep flipping back and forth to see what a code means. 

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Kevin,

 

The report focuses on Northern Maine as in, Aroostook county methinks. Bass fishing is not a priority, although the St John is now fishing well for Smallies, which is a new phenomena.  Most northern Mainers saw it coming with the Blue Ribbon Water Initiative in the early 90's.  If you live in northern areas the mentality is easily understood...People were and still are mad they cannot keep fish along with declining populations of locals due to lack of jobs employment opportunities (Woods industry shutting down).. Liberalize regs.  and people will come. The fishing pressure of the past is no longer an issue.  We openly discussed this issue when I joined the forum in 2009.  it was clear this was going to happen (No one that lives north is surprised)...  The last thing we need is marketing strategies.  Simply go to a 5 -8 fish limit on the ponds in Northern Maine and people will start fishing again.

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The law book is fine other than hard to navigate. If you can't understand the rules than your probably being lazy. I think the decline in angling in northern Maine is more due to the fact no one lives there and our aging population. We are the oldest state in the country and we lose population every year. I don't think increasing how many fish you can kill is going to help anything. I know a few places where you can throw a worm in and catch your limit of brook trout in an hour and all be over a pound. I'm also not in favor of marketing our resources to people from away to come an exploit. I am in favor of protecting the fish and marketing how great northern Maine is to fish but not increasing what you can kill that's ridiculous. People are lazy and don't wanna go outside or walk anywhere to catch fish I thinks that's also a part of it.

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well.... if people are using them, and they aren't drawing license money and traffic through the region, the state could very likely make a decision to stop supporting them, either by stocking or active management.  The big name states out west invest heavily in the fisheries, because they support local economies, a pond in Caribou isn't doing that for the region.  

I am not surprised that guide trips are up, i think there is general growth in interest within the sport, and now that the economy is doing a little better, people may have the time, money and interest in exploring again.  

I find the rule book is easy for a catch and release fly fisherman.  If I was not one, i think it becomes harder.  

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i think it's up to the lodges or guides to market themselves better, I would think that is why their business is hurting not the fishery

The lodges that I know that are doing well or even guides market themselves well and have great customer service the ones who don't are struggling 

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But wasn't the point about the states management of the fishery, and not growing adjacent businesses?  A guide on a river without any fish is going to be hungry!

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This sounds like more whining from George about how the DIFW isn't listening to him.  There are fewer anglers because by and large the younger generation isn't interested. I know some are but their numbers are a fraction of what they used to be. My son is 22 and he likes fishing but its not something he goes out of his way to do...I have to drag him along and if there isn't cell service he bums hard.  His friends are the pretty much of the same ilk.  

George has been crying about the rulebook for ten years even though its been simplified to the point where all you need to know is how to spell the name of the water you are fishing and where it is, know the general law, and be able to read whatever "s" code there may or may not be.  If you find that too difficult then you don't care about the rules anyway.

I am surprised he didn't add the usual "my poor Long Lake isn't what it used to be"  drivel that he harps on about to anyone who will listen....

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I find the article rather interesting.  Unfortunately, there are too many variables to blame the lack of angler participation on a single constant (claim of poor fish populations).  As mentioned in the article, there are far more activities that appeal to younger generations - I know as a male in my early 20's, it was rarely fish that I was chasing.  But I'll digress, there are more entertainment options for individuals these days as well as increased demands on our time.  The 8 hour work day, and weekends free of work, are becoming a thing of the past.  From a consumerism perspective, including consumption of entertainment, we're increasingly becoming a society of convenience.  We click a mouse while sitting in our living room to shop for clothes, detergent, even groceries today.  When one may only have a full day to recreate, how many will pack to the extent necessary for a fishing trip which may be a 5-6 hour drive? 

In terms of the rule book, I agree with all other posters - it's easy to follow.  In spirit of convenience, however, with today's current technology, it would be very easy to link to the S-Codes so you wouldn't have to scroll down pages when reviewing electronically.  I also like the other comment about including a summary at the base of each page.  Yes, we get to know the most common restrictions but having it convenient helps.  If we can go to a glossy magazine style rule book (call me old fashioned but I liked the old B&W which conveniently fit into a tackle bag/box), then a brief summary is a possibility.

Lastly, in terms of catching fish I think success all depends upon the angler.  My sense is that your typical recreational angler, especially limited with time and experience, could fish a body of water and have a negative experience while some of the members of this board could fish it that same day in the exact same conditions and have a solid day. 

Increasing limits, in my opinion, will not help the fishery, it will only hurt it and/or increase the costs to sufficiently manage/maintain it. 

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I'd be interested to see the same report in terms of winter angling.  In the 90's my family group and a quite a few of my friends were making the trek up to the Fish River Chain 3-5 times a winter because the fishing in Central Maine and some of the Eastern Lakes seemed to have bottomed out.  Today we make fewer trips North, in part because of age and family obligations but also because the fishing closer to home has improved, especially in terms of fishing for browns and rainbows.

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